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Fracture Repair (Fracture Reduction): Procedure, risks, preparations and more

  • Posted on- Jul 11, 2016
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Written by site author.

A Fracture Repair (Fracture Reduction) procedure involves two main methods, Open Reduction and Closed Reduction:

  • Open Reduction is a surgical intervention technique that realigns the broken bones during surgery and uses orthopaedic devices, such as plates, screws, and rods, to sustain a proper position of the bone allowing it to heal
  • Closed Reduction is a surgical treatment method that involves realigning the broken bones back to its proper anatomic position, without making an incision at the fracture site

A fracture repair procedure is performed to restore a broken bone to its normal and properly functioning position.

How a fracture repair surgical procedure is performed?

  • In an Open Reduction surgical procedure, one or more incisions are made over the site of the fracture
  • The surgeon then realigns the bone fragments back to its normal anatomical position
  • Usually, special orthopaedic devices, such as plates, screws, or rods, are used to hold the newly aligned bone in place
  • Once the bone fragments are realigned in a secured position, a cast or splint is applied

A fracture repair is usually performed in an out-patient surgery centre facility by an Orthopaedic surgeon, General surgeon, family doctor with assistance from an anaesthesiologist.

Preparations needed before a fracture repair surgical procedure

  • The physician may evaluate the individual’s medical history to gain a comprehensive knowledge of the overall health status of the patient including information related to the medications that are being currently taken
  • Some medications increase a person’s chances of bleeding and it may be recommended to discontinue them for a period of time, before the procedure is performed
  • Blood tests may be performed to determine if there is a bleeding tendency or any other medical conditions that prevents the person from undergoing the procedure
  • Normally local anaesthesia is not used however do inform the physician if you are allergic to any local anaesthetics, lidocaine, etc.
  • Avoid application of any cosmetics, deodorant, or topical medicines on the area, prior to the procedure
  • It is advisable to quit smoking and the use of any nicotine based products, for a while, before the surgery
  • Consumption of alcoholic drinks must also be avoided for a period of time, as instructed 
  • The patient must avoid eating or drinking at least 8 hours prior to the surgical procedure, depending on when the procedure is arranged
  • For persons suffering from diabetes, it is important that the blood sugar stays within the normal range if not their diabetologist may have to control blood sugar by recommending insulin or a combination of oral medicines

Diagnostic lab tests needed before a fracture repair surgical procedure

Before a Fracture Repair procedure, the patient may need to undergo certain tests such as:
  • Routine blood test
  • X-ray of the fracture site
  • CT scan of the affected area

Risks and complications during a fracture repair surgical procedure

The possible risks or complications that may arise during the surgery are:

Risks and complications after a fracture repair surgical procedure

The possible risks and complications that may arise after a fracture repair are:
  • Infection in the surgical wound
  • The bone fragments may heal improperly, causing alignment problems or mismatched joints
  • Non-healing of the repaired bones
  • Abnormal pressure on surrounding nerves, resulting in nerve damage

Post-operative care needed after a fracture repair surgical procedure

At home, the following post-operative care is recommended, after a fracture repair procedure:
  • Resume regular/daily activities, as early as possible (under advice by the physician). This aids in a faster recovery
  • Elevate the affected extremity (e.g. hand or leg) while resting, to prevent formation of blood clots and reduce the possibility of swelling
  • Complete the course of prescribed medication
  • Avoid taking non-prescription medications, such as aspirin. However, individuals may take acetaminophen to relieve pain
  • Adhere to the physical therapy and rehabilitation program regimen
  • Mechanical aids, such as crutches or a walker, may be used to help recover faster
  • Resume driving, only when it is safe to do so (as determined by your physician)
  • Immediately for a few weeks after the surgery/procedure, have a diet consisting of foods, high in fibre. Also increase your fluid intake, in order to prevent constipation that might occur due to reduced physical activity levels
  • It takes about 4 to 6 weeks (sometimes even longer) to fully recover from the procedure


user profile image
23-09-2016 08:05 AM

When I was 18 years old, I was involved in a motorcycle accident and sustained multiple bone fractures. Then, I had to undergo this surgery and get myself fine.

user profile image
08-08-2016 02:35 AM

I had this procedure done when I had met with an accident. Post operational results were very fine.

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